CAPTAIN of the Team Isle of Wight cycling squad going to the Island Games in Guernsey next month — Joe Staunton — is on track for success. 

Joe is embarking on a two-year national coaching programme — spending time at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, assisting the GB Cycling Team coaches and receiving mentoring. 

The Islander is among the elite 23 selected from hundreds of applicants to become a 'British cycling scholar'.

Wightlink are doing their part in his development by extending their sponsorship, to enable him to grasp the golden opportunity. 

The only rider on the Island to hold a Category 1 elite licence, Joe will be taking part in top-level road cycling races across the country. 

Joe is the first Island rider to reach such a level within the British Cycling system for 15 years.

Joe, a member of the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Race Team, left them last year to take up a place with South Coast-based elite team, Primera-Team Jobs.

“I am delighted my sponsorship with Wightlink has been renewed,” says Joe. 

“I’m also really enjoying helping the ferry company promote the Island as a destination for cyclists and lovers of the outdoor life — and working closely with British Cycling and partners to develop the sport."

Wightlink’s commercial director, Phil Delaney, added: "We're delighted to continue our support of Joe as he steps up to the next level of cycling, while he also helps to develop future talent within the world of cycling through his work as a coach.”

As well as travelling to the mainland two to three times a week to compete in track and road races, Joe is also busy preparing for the Island Games this summer. 

As captain of the road cycling team, he is working to improve them with the aim of bringing back medals from Guernsey.